MLK’s Commitment to Labor Movement Cries Out in Today’s Illinois

CHICAGO-Following is the statement of SEIU Healthcare Illinois Executive Vice President Greg Kelley in observance of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. Day:

“In his last public act before he was martyred, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. stood in solidarity with AFSCME sanitation workers in Memphis. Dr. King long had proclaimed the labor movement a pathway to social and racial justice and so this was no coincidence.

“His example shines brightly in today’s Illinois, where Gov. Bruce Rauner has made destroying the union movement here the hallmark of his administration, and along the way, has used vulnerable populations, principally people of color, as hostages to advance his cruel agenda.

“While he was running for governor, Rauner visited our communities with promises of change. Instead, the ill effects of his extreme agenda have wrought devastation. Dr. King called the union movement “The principal force that transformed misery and despair into hope and progress.” On this MLK Day, those words ring out more than ever.”

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